Favourite Five To Return To

It must be quite apparent from my effusive travelogues that I leave a piece of my heart in most every place I visit. And given a chance I would return to every one of them……almost. Sadly, the inverse relationship between time and my ever lengthening bucket list makes return trips impractical.

Compiling a hypothetical list for the ‘Top Destinations To Go There‘ challenge hosted by Booked.net, proved even harder than I anticipated. How could I ignore the magic of Egypt, or the charm of Provence? The romance of Greece, or the awe inspired by China? The breathtaking temples of Cambodia, or the colour and energy of India?

But five is the limit, so here is the final list of my favourite places to return to:

5. Kyoto

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Kyoto is the old capital of Japan and its cultural heart. With its floral Kimonos, hand raked Zen gardens and a treasure trove of heritage monuments within easy access, it measured up to every one of my preconceived notions of Japan and then some.  I barely scratched the surface of what the city had to offer on my impromptu trip with my sister in 2012, and am eager to return to experience its charms my way….preferably timed for the sakura (cherry blossom) season.

4. Venice

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A new favourite. And one of few places I returned to, albeit after three decades! I spent an amazing solo week there in April and would gladly return for another week or longer. Believe me, its monumental center is the least of its attractions.

3. Istanbul

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Istanbul is drop dead gorgeous in every way. Beautiful architecture, fabulous food and wonderful people make it one of my top destinations. It would have featured higher on this list if I hadn’t already visited twice. I would return in a heartbeat.

2. Rio de Janeiro

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We aren’t really beach people. So we allowed ourselves just three days in this city, and regretted it big time. The magnificent landscape alone is worth returning for. The Samba and Bossa Nova is another compelling reason. And the cuisine isn’t far behind. We rate our lunch at Aprazivel, high on our list of memorable meals…think casava and shrimp au gratin, baked palm hearts, grilled Tilapia and a guava ice cream dessert named Guava do  Paraiso that was to die for! We hope to return sooner than later.

1. Paris. Always Paris!

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Many thanks to Kan Walk Will Travel for nominating me for this challenge. Being constrained for time in the run up to our forthcoming Africa trip, I shall take the easy way out and throw open this challenge to all my readers.  You know what to do: five places, five photos, five nominations. Terms and conditions here. The prize, if you are lucky, is a brand new iPhone6.

What are you waiting for?